NR’s Sasse Cover, Now Playing on Nebraska Television Screens

by Jim Geraghty

You’ve probably seen John J. Miller’s NR cover story on Ben Sasse, the conservative Republican running for the open Senate seat in Nebraska. The Sasse campaign is making sure Nebraskans see it on their television screens:

Another fanciful ad imagined moving the capital of the United States to Nebraska, “so Congress can experience family, conservative values, and living within in a budget”:

The current front-runner in the Senate campaign, former state treasurer Shane Osborn, has a PAC that is running its own “six-figure” ad campaign, featuring this biographical ad, which focus upon Osborn’s military service, particularly his piloting a crippled Navy surveillance aircraft and its 23-member crew to a safe landing on a Chinese island in 2001 and then spending twelve days in captivity.

Jordan Gehrke, a senior adviser to the Sasse campaign, said the campaign is spending $200,000 on an early television-ad buy, both broadcast and cable, which can go pretty far in Nebraska’s relatively inexpensive markets. Gehrke said the campaign is also pleased that a five-minute YouTube video has gotten 34,000 views inside the state of Nebraska.

There are currently five Republicans running for governor in Nebraska and five Republicans running for the U.S. Senate. With nominal Democratic opposition, the Republican primary winners are expected to triumph in November. Some of those statewide candidates have indicated a willingness to self-fund, or at least make significant loans to their campaigns, meaning the airwaves will be crowded as the May primary approaches.

“There’s going to be so much clutter at the very end, it’s going to be very hard to break through,” Gehrke said, explaining the early ad buy. The ad campaign will go on for two and a half weeks.

Osborn is significantly ahead of the pack, at least according to internal polls his campaign has released, from back in October:

An internal survey from former Nebraska state Treasurer Shane Osborn shows him leading the Republican primary for the state’s open Senate seat.

The survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for Osborn’s campaign, gives him 39 percent of the vote, while the other three candidates take single-digit support.

Midland University President Ben Sasse, a Tea Party favorite who last week received the endorsement of the Senate Conservatives Fund, ties banker Sid Dinsdale with 7 percent support. Attorney Bart McLeay takes 1 percent support.